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Public transport etiquette

June 29, 2010

I’m obviously pregnant now with people at work commenting that there is no way I can hide my bump (not that I ever was hiding!) and I’m definitely a pregnant lady. However, it seems that people on public transport must still be blind to my bump. I would have expected someone by now to offer me their seat on the train or bus but nope…I’m still standing during my commute to work. And in some cases, I’m even pushed aside by commuters so they can grab the last seat.

Actually no I am wrong – some people aren’t blind to my bump as I’ve caught people staring at it. So I guess they can’t be bothered giving up their seat or they don’t think a pregnant lady deserves to sit down more than them. Or they may think I’m just a skinny girl with a hugemongous beer belly and don’t want to offend me (or embarrass themselves) by suggesting I was pregnant.

This seriously ‘irks’ me as it’s so much easier for people to offer their seat as they will come across as being ‘polite’ rather than me asking as that will come across as me being ‘demanding’. I understand if people don’t notice, but there are people who blatantly stare at my bump and is it really going to do them any harm if they offer the seat to me anyway even if they aren’t 100% sure?

I’m really disappointed at how even with a carriage or bus load full of people, there isn’t one person who has the decency to offer their seat? I had always offered my seat to the pregnant, disabled, and elderly before I was pregnant myself so this is downright disheartening 😦

As I get bigger, more tired, achy, and uncomfortable, I’m just going to get even more frustrated during my commute.

Sorry if this sounds like a whinge but where has simple courtesy and etiquette gone? Is it wrong for pregnant woman to expect that a seat will be offered to her or does she need to ask? Have you noticed a decline in public transportation etiquette for the pregnant, elderly or disabled?

Image courtesy of Calvin J via Flickr

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 5:29 pm

    Oh how rude! People are so inconsiderate nowadays!

    If you feel the need to sit down, please ask for it. I know what you mean about being demanding, but you’re looking after a little one now 😀

  2. June 29, 2010 7:17 pm

    Oh Sass, i’ve seen this happen so many times. I usually give up my seat and if i have no seat I usually turn around to the pregnant lady and ask them how far along they are as loud as i can. Once people hear this someone is usually kind enough to get up and offer their seat. I read recently (can’t remember if it was news.com.au or smh.com.au) that more and more people choose to not give up their seats for fear of embarassing themselves if the lady isn’t pregnant. But like you said, people should just give up their seats in kindness without the need to say or ask anything that could be deemed offensive.

  3. July 1, 2010 2:18 pm

    Hi, found your blog through australianblogs.com.au

    I had the opposite experience on Perth’s public transport when I was pregnant with DD#1… I’m a monstrous heifer so I presumed people just thought I was fat but I often had people offer me their seats.

    But this pregnancy I had a bus driver make me give up my priority seat so a vision-impaired lady could have it coz no-one else would get up. “someone get up… someone get up… YOU get up”. Hmmph! The lady was very apologetic (which she didnt need to be, it’s not her fault!) and offered to let my (then)2yr old sit on her lap while I stood in the aisle.

  4. July 1, 2010 7:59 pm

    Ms Curious and Morena – It’s very frustrating isn’t it? I’m going to endeavour to ask when I feel sore or uncomfortable.

    Lori – Thanks for stopping by :)! Glad to meet another Perthian! I’m shocked to hear that no one else offered their seat after seeing you offer a seat to someone else. This surely shows that people are pretty selfish or just too lazy to be considerate to others sometimes :(.

  5. July 9, 2010 4:11 pm

    There IS a decline. I’ve witnessed people not standing for a pregnant woman on the bus and my sister in law who is 8 months pregnant has experienced the discomfort of standing on public transport because nobody else was courteous enough to offer their seat. I assume the elderly get the same shabby treatment 😦

  6. July 12, 2010 2:46 pm

    It’s sad to think people are either not courageous or courteous enough anymore and therefore the ‘less able’ suffer. Good news on my front though…last week a woman offered me her seat!I was so happy that I didn’t take the seat as I only had one more stop to go anyway.

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